[[t]ɒ̱f(ə)n, AM ɔ͟ːf-[/t]]
(Often is usually used before the verb, but it may be used after the verb when it has a word like `less' or `more' before it, or when the clause is negative.)
1) ADV-GRADED: ADV before v, ADV with cl/group If something often happens, it happens many times or much of the time.

They often spent Christmas at Prescott Hill...

Early American weathervanes were most often cut from flat wooden boards...

They used these words freely, often in front of their parents too...

It was often hard to work and do the course at the same time...

That doesn't happen very often.

2) ADV: how ADV, as ADV as n/cl You use often after `how' to ask questions about frequency. You also use often in reported clauses and other statements to give information about the frequency of something.

How often do you brush your teeth?...

I don't know how often I heard the same awful jokes...

They jog, play tennis and water ski nearly twice as often as the general population.

3) PHRASE: PHR with cl If something happens every so often, it happens regularly, but with fairly long intervals between each occasion.

She's going to come back every so often...

Every so often he would turn and look at her.

4) PHRASE: PHR with cl If you say that something happens as often as not, or more often than not, you mean that it happens fairly frequently, and that this can be considered as typical of the kind of situation you are talking about.

Yet, as often as not, they find themselves the target of persecution rather than praise...

Although sometimes I feel like bothering, as often as not I don't...

Behind many successful men there is, more often than not, a woman who makes this success possible.

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • often — often, frequently, oft, oftentimes may be used with little or no distinction to mean again and again in more or less close succession. But often stresses the number of times a thing occurs, without regard to the interval of recurrence; frequently …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Often — Of ten, a. Frequent; common; repeated. [R.] Thine often infirmities. 1 Tim. v. 23. [1913 Webster] And weary thee with often welcomes. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • often — In current English this is more usually pronounced with the t silent. The comparative forms oftener and oftenest are permissible, although more often and most often are more commonly used …   Modern English usage

  • often — (also archaic or N. Amer. oftentimes) ► ADVERB (oftener, oftenest) 1) frequently. 2) in many instances. USAGE The comparative and superlative forms oftener and oftenest are not incorrect, but are rarely used now in British English, the more usual …   English terms dictionary

  • Often — Of ten ([o^]f n; 115), adv. [Compar. {Oftener} ([o^]f n*[ e]r); superl. {Oftenest}.] [Formerly also ofte, fr. oft. See {Oft}., adv.] Frequently; many times; not seldom. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • often — index chronic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • often — (adv.) c.1300, extended form of OFT (Cf. oft), originally before vowels and h , probably by influence of M.E. selden seldom. In common use from 16c., replacing oft …   Etymology dictionary

  • often — [adv] frequently again and again, a number of times, generally, many a time, much, oftentimes, ofttimes, over and over, recurrently, regularly, repeatedly, time after time, time and again, usually; concept 541 Ant. infrequently, rarely, seldom …   New thesaurus

  • often — [ôf′ən, äf′ən; ôf′tən, äf′tən] adv. [ME var. of OFT] many times; repeatedly; frequently adj. Archaic frequent …   English World dictionary

  • often — of|ten W1S1 [ˈɔfən, ˈɔftən US ˈo:f ] adv [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: oft] 1.) if something happens often, it happens regularly or many times = ↑frequently ▪ She often works at the weekend. ▪ If you wash your hair too often, it can get too dry. ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • often — of|ten [ ɔfn ] adverb *** 1. ) on many occasions or in many situations: Often, students with family problems have difficulties at school. Boredom often leads to bad behavior. The home is often the most likely place in which someone is injured.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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